Your choice of wallpaper is a more significant commitment than you might think. If you’ve reached this stage, the chances are that you’ve already debated between wallpaper, paint, exotic plastering and all manner of wall coverage options.
The good news is that wallpaper doesn’t ever go out of style. Rented homes indeed tend to be painted, but this is often for ease of repair and replacement, neutral colours and a reduced chance of damage. In your own home, you’re free to do as you like. Unless you’re an artist, wallpaper tends to be the easiest way to combine different colours and patterns without breaking either the bank or your back.
Once you commit to wallpaper, the chances are that it will remain in place for a while. This makes it all the more important to get it right the first time. Rather than settling for the first pattern and colour combination you see, it makes sense to think about all the available options in part so you don’t regret your decision later on. The following tips should assist you in getting that decision correct.
1. Use Your Wallpaper to Tell a Story
Those aforementioned colour and pattern combinations are virtually limitless, so why not take the opportunity to tell a story and bring out your personality? There are so many different ways to achieve this through various styles, regardless of the story you wish to convey. You could focus on fun, the history of yourself or others or even your cultural background. The more personal your choice, the more likely you are to be happy with the results.
2. Choose Colours that Create a Mood
We’ve mentioned colour extensively already and we’re only on the second tip! However, nothing quite defines a wallpaper like the colours and you can use your choice of shade to set the tone for the rest of the room. Crucially, the type of room often dictates the best palette. If you want to make a room feel larger or soothe your mind, then cooler colours like blue and green should reside atop your priority list. If the room lends itself to an exciting atmosphere, then warmer colours like red and orange are your friend.
3. Check Out Trends
There may be fewer magazines on the shelves, but you may have noticed that home improvement and home decorating publications continue to sell well enough to retain their position at newsstands. People like to hold these kinds of features and photos in their hands so that they can hold them up to the wall and see how they feel. There’s also plenty to write about as trends and fashions change all the time. If you go with something fashionable, you’re virtually guaranteed of good looks. However, the constant updates to what’s cool mean that you might have to change the wallpaper sooner than you’d prefer.
4. Consider Scale When Choosing Prints
Prints open up loads of possibilities for the design and overall appeal of your room, but there is more to consider than whether you like the patterns and shapes. You should scale the imagery with the size of the room. Large prints in small rooms can be too overpowering, while smaller prints in a large room can make the room feel smaller than it is.
5. Use Stripes to Adjust Perspective
You’ve probably heard of the impact that striped clothing has on the way you look, and you can use the same kinds of optical illusion with your wallpaper. Vertical stripes on the walls can make a room feel taller, while horizontal ones have the capacity to make it feel wider. Be warned, however, as bold, solid stripes rarely look all that great on the walls unless the furniture and other décor is designed to match in some way.
6. Don’t Overlook Form as well as Style
When you browse swatches and catalogues, you need to keep the function of the room in mind. Not all wallpaper will work in all rooms, and there’s rarely any way to tell whether it is available in different materials. If you aim to wallpaper the bathroom, you’ll require a certain degree of waterproofing so that accidental splashes don’t lead to hefty repair bills. In the kitchen, you want a wallpaper that is easy to wipe clean when the frying pan decides it doesn’t need as much oil in it any more.
7. Grab Swatches and Samples of Anything that Catches Your Eye
As great as modern printing technology is, you can’t beat a genuine sample of the wallpaper you have in mind to see how it works with your furniture and other colours in the room. Crucially, magazines cannot convey texture either, so unless you’re only going with completely smooth wallpaper, you can see how it feels. You can even use these swatches to test how any given wallpaper performs in the kind of circumstances outlined in tip 6.
8. Don’t Feel You have to Paper Every Wall
Wallpaper doesn’t have to be consistent. Some rooms work best with a feature wall or two, where a couple of surfaces are papered to your tastes while the others remain relatively bare or are painted at most. Alternatively, you don’t need to use the same patterns on each wall. Instead, you can highlight and complement the features you love the most by alternating two different styles around the room.
9. Decide How to Hang It
The thicker the paper and the more exotic the patterns, the more difficult it is to hang. Wallpaper tends to come in preset sizes and it’s up to you to match it up from roll to roll. When you’ve gone to the trouble of picking out the perfect design, the last thing you want to do is to ruin it with mismatched patterns. If you’re in any doubt at all about your own abilities, get a professional in to do it. They’re not overly expensive for the time they take and you’ll save money and stress in the long run.
10. Embrace Technology
Digital printing is relatively cheap nowadays and you can make full use of it to achieve the results you desire. If you have a pattern in mind or even want to use otherwise copyrighted images that don’t appear on commercial wallpaper, someone somewhere will print it for you. The sky is the limit, so don’t be afraid to dream big.